Finkl, C.W. and Makowski, C., 2023. Conceptualization of sequential cross-shore eco-geomorphological units in topographic profiles: Introduction and application of coastal belt archimorphs and ideograms as related to the BCCS (Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System). Journal of Coastal Research, 39(1), 1–17. Charlotte (North Carolina), ISSN 0749-0208.
The BCCS (Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System) is a method of coastal classification based on the concept of using cross-shore eco-geomorphological catenary sequences to define the nature of coastal belts with variable extensions inland and alongshore. The methodology of the BCCS is based on the recognition of cross- and alongshore sequences (Coastal Ecological Sequences, CES) that form overarching catenas (Dominant Catenary Sequences, DCS) when viewed with satellite images in planview. Extension of these concepts to embrace topographic slices across the coast (in a tomographic sense) produces archimorphs that show actual surface (terrestrial and marine) elevations above and below sea level. Based on elevation data from satellite imagery, several repeating profile shapes were concised to a modicum of idealized line-illustrated conceptual shapes that are referred to as ideograms. The ideograms are based on archimorphs, which are the dominant or essential archetypical shapes of eco-geomorphological environments, such as barrier, beach, beach ridge, channel, cliff, coral reef, delta, developed, dune, flat, ice, lagoon, lake, mountain, rock, till, upland, or wetland archetypes. Archimorphs typically combine cross-shore with each other to form polymorphic sequences used to subdivide ideograms into archetype or subarchetype segments. By doing so, a better understanding of spatial linkages between generalized eco-geomorphological units is obtained. Eighteen coastal ideograms are presented in this paper as prospects for stylizing profile shapes to gather immediate conceptualizations of coastal belts. Selected profiles from around the world were constructed to show, in a single illustration, the principal components of cross-shore profiles that include information relating to (but not inclusive of) topographic shape, archimorphs based on elevation data, catenary archimorphic sequences (polymorphs), ideograms based on idealized tomographs, and correlation to the BCCS codifications that include Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) and terrestrial Ecoregions (ERs). This kind of conceptual collage amalgamates diverse types of information into a compact format for easy comprehension of coastal setups in an instantaneous view. These annotated classification profiles can be used for coastal belts the world over and have applications in the biophysical, geographical, managerial, and military sciences.
Coastal classification is a complicated process that is constrained by scalar variations and abilities to depict alongshore characteristics on paper maps and charts. The problems associated with the accurate depiction of coastal environments is as old as the history of marine cartography (Fairbridge, 2004; Finkl, 2004; Finkl and Makowski, 2019a,b; Makowski and Finkl, 2016). Originally, much information was stylized for seafarers' efforts to avoid hazardous areas and to locate navigable ports and harbors as well as offshore potable freshwater sources. With the advent of electronic charts, much more information regarding coastal navigation could be provided in digital format and accessed by shipboard and land-based computers. With the development of coastal marine sciences, a need developed for acquiring information related to the general nature of coastal environments, especially those of special scenic beauty or ecologically strategic importance. These special areas of concern were not just alongshore or on the shoreline per se but extended for variable distances inland. With the advent of free satellite imagery of the world's coasts via Google Earth, coastal mapping procedures changed considerably. The satellite imagery provided accurate base maps and afforded the opportunity for online mapping using remote-sensing interpretative skills to identify different kinds of coastal environments. Zoom capabilities of image-processing platforms enabled multiscaled views of coastalscapes to the point where eco-geomorphological units could be interpreted from offshore to variable distances inland, bringing in the possibility of cross-shore coastal classification as an adjunct to signification of traditional depiction of alongshore types. The advantage of coastal classification using satellite images is that codified classificatory units can be placed as an overlay on top of the imagery which can be accessed online by researchers for their own personal views and study. This new technology thus facilitates review, interpretation, and modification of cross-shore coastal classification. Some summary background information regarding proposed methodologies for cross-shore classification is provided here, with reference to tomographic slices of coastal belts and terminology.
The Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System (BCCS) Method
The BCCS (Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System) has been introduced as a novel method of coastal classification based on the recognition of cross-shore sequences (catenary associations) comprising eco-geomorphological units (Finkl and Makowski, 2020a). Classification of cross-shore transects using satellite imagery shows that units recognized in transects also have alongshore spread in a thematic sense (Finkl and Makowski, 2020b,c,d; 2021a,d; 2022d). Primary eco-geomorphological units that are ubiquitous and repetitive, as observed in transects on satellite images, are recognized as archetypes (e.g., barrier, beach, beach ridge, channel, cliff, coral reef, delta, developed, dune, flat, ice, lagoon, lake, mountain, rock, till, upland, wetland) that can be subdivided on the basis of appropriate criteria into subarchetypes, such as a siliciclastic or carbonaceous beach. Examples of BCCS applications have been provided for a range of coastal environments such as the middle latitude Oregon coast, Uruguayan coast, Danube Delta, the tropical Fijian coral reefs, and subpolar Tierra del Fuego shore (Finkl and Makowski, 2021b,c; 2022a,b,c).
Generalized cross-shore sequences comprising archetypical catenas are recognized as Dominant Catenary Sequences (DCS) while more detailed interpretations based on subarchetypes are referred to as Coastal Ecological Sequences (CES) (Finkl and Makowski, 2020a,b,c,d). The panoramic DCS is a shorthand way of indicating a primary cross-shore sequence, whereas the CES requires more detailed interpretation of the satellite imagery along with collation of collateral data that provides a greater degree of specificity. Both DCS and CES catenas may be identified on the same image, depending on research requirements and objectives.
Codifications are overlain in alphanumeric form on satellite imagery as a cross-shore transect, the alongshore catenary width (breadth of the cross-shore classificatory swath) of which is demarcated by boundary lines. The BCCS is geared to the study of satellite imagery obtained from a Google Earth Pro platform where zoom capabilities permit inspection of images at various scales. Presentation scales are geared to journal or book publication page sizes with the understanding that zooming in is required to obtain sufficient detail for interpretation and classification of the imagery. As a result, coordinates are always provided so that readers can access the imagery themselves using desired platforms. The basic methodology is provided by Finkl and Makowski (2020a).
Similar to all methodological classification systems, coastal systemization is no exception because it relies on the lingua franca of specialized disciplines such as the biological, geological, geographical, and managerial sciences. The BCCS incorporates aspects of many avenues of inquiry but mainly draws on ecology and geomorphology, as emphasized by reference to eco-geomorphological units that comprise the basic entities of inquiry (Finkl and Makowski, 2020a,b,c,d). Recognition of archetypes and subarchetypes as classificatory units in cross-shore sequences, as interpreted in planview (bird's-eye view) from satellite images, that have alongshore spread are further nuanced here in terms of visual and cognitive perspectives and relativity to real elevational data and morphology as well as through conceptual constructs. Consideration of profile views (side or cross-sectional views) as opposed to planviews of archetypes is facilitated by new terminology that reflects this differential approach. To this end, three new terms are proposed, for practical application, to differentiate scopes of visualization: archimorph, ideogram, and annotated profile.
The term “archimorph” is used here in reference to profiles (cross-sectional topographic shapes or forms) that are first, chief, primitive, essential, or most important morphologies. An archimorph is associated with an archetype (or subarchetype) as seen in a cross-sectional view. In other words, it is a side-view depiction of an essential eco-geomorphological unit based on actual elevation data that is remotely obtained from satellite imagery. When using a topographic map, for example, a shape outline is acquired by cutting contour lines transversely where each contour can be defined as a closed line joining relief points at equal height relative sea level (e.g., Ambrose, 1988; Lahee, 1961; Woods et al., 2018). On the other hand, when using a satellite image obtained from Google Earth Pro, elevations can be easily found by clicking the cursor on points along a transect and recording the data. The resulting line shape defines the topographic profile that characterizes the morphology of an archetype or cross-shore catenary sequences of archetypes, as in the case of a beach vs. a barrier island, for example. The beach archetype is a discrete eco-geomorphological unit, whereas the barrier island is compound (polymorphic), typically comprising beach, dune, lagoon, and wetland archetypes in catenary association. The archimorph is real in the sense that its line profile is obtained by measuring elevation along a definitive cross-shore transect.
With this basic background information in mind, it is possible to build greater flexibility in the BCCS and expand the essential concepts of cross-shore transects into topographic profiles, which can be viewed like tomographic slices across the coastal zone from offshore to variable distances inland. A topographic profile, or topographic cut, represents the relief of the terrain along a line. Profiles can be constructed for individual archetypes or archetypical catenas to depict the cross-shore topographic or elevational trace of the archimorphs.
Study of numerous archimorphs suggests, however, that it is possible to construct idealized (conceptual) line drawings that stylistically (in cartoonish-rendered form) represent side views, or archimorphic cross sections, of archetypes. These idealized cross-sectional views are referred to as “ideograms,” which use a symbol made of geometric shapes to represent an idea such as the concept of an eco-geomorphological unit (e.g., Priese, Lakmann, and Rehrmann, 1995).
Related terms not used here but mentioned by way of contrast include pictograms and logograms. A pictogram, as distinct from an ideogram, uses a picture of an object such as a car or airplane (e.g., Enass, 2015). Pictograms are easy to understand because they can be assumed to represent the object depicted, whereas ideograms are more complex because they represent abstract or intangible ideas. Logograms (logographs), a related concept, are written symbols that represent an entire spoken word without expressing its pronunciation (Medeiros, Brod Júnior, and Gomes, 2014). Ideograms are thus pertinent to the symbolization of characteristic cross-shore profiles.
The series of ideograms shown in Figure 1 are exemplars of conceptual depictions of 18 different types of coastal belt archimorphs. These theoretical constructs are simplistic representations of topographic traces that visually represent the side-view outline of an archetype. All ideograms are diagrammatically related to sea level. The ideograms presented in Figure 1 are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be an exhaustive graphic exegesis of all possibilities, of which there are many in dimensional space.
Information related to the BCCS is summarized in graphic and alphanumeric form in the “annotated profile” (e.g., Ambrose, 1988; Lahee, 1961) for the purpose of immediate comprehension of the overall character of a coastal belt. The graphic contains archimorphs and ideograms in addition to supplemental information related to topographic shape, archimorphic sequences (polymorphs) based on elevation data, theoretical ideograms based on hypothetical topographic outline, and correlation to the BCCS codifications that include Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) and terrestrial Ecoregions (ERs). This graphic tool is used to collate wide ranging disparate, but interrelated, types of information into a cohesive whole that provides insight into the nature of coastal belts.
The methods followed in this research developed around the concept of interpretive tools that were real in the sense of being based on measurements of elevational transects, as in the case of archimorphs, and the development of conceptual representative constructs, such as the ideograms. These interpretive tools were developed to provide greater insight into the eco-geomorphological makeup of coastal belts by showing different visual perspectives of satellite images, i.e. planviews vs. side or profile views. Interpretive skills related to the description of coastal belts are related to linkages between what can be deciphered from the satellite imagery, in a spatiotemporal sense, and concepts of cartographic relief depiction. The procedures described here differentiate the two processes of measurement and conceptualization.
Archimorph: Creation of a Real Interpretation Tool
The basic methodology of this research inquiry essentially involved construction of cross-shore profiles by obtaining elevation data from satellite images. The construction of numerous line profiles along cross-shore transects of various types of archetypes was used in the development of a library of topographic shapes (i.e. ideograms) that defines the archimorphs presented in Figure 1. Perusal of the range of topographic shapes identified morphological commonalities for each archetype, the scopes of which were assimilated in common transectal forms. These cross-sectional views, based on the acquisition of elevation data from the satellite images were used to construct topographic traces of archetypes and catenary sequences of archetypes. In this way, planview archetypes were related to their corresponding side-view archimorphs.
When the cross-shore transects traversed multiple archetypes, which is the usual case, polymorphic sequences of archimorphs were identified. For simplicity and practical purposes, single archimorphs are presented in Figure 1, except for barrier islands, which are polymorphic by definition. The names of the archimorphs shown in Figure 1 correspond to the terminology for the archetypes listed in Table 1. It is understood that cross-shore transects typically contain several sequential archetypes that translate to side-view topographic traces that are referred to as archimorphs.
Ideogram: Creation of a Conceptual Interpretation Tool
An ideogram is a conceptual integration of topographic shapes that are related to archimorphs, which are based on actual measurements of elevation and shown in side-view as a line diagram. Multiple examples of the same kind of archimorph (e.g., a beach, dune, sea cliff) were used in reiterative compilations to produce a stylized depiction that was a representation of topographic shapes. These theoretical diagrammatic shapes are amalgamations of natural variability into a simplified idea that represents a natural feature in the simplest possible mode of expression as a single line drawing. The process of conceptual interpretation is associated with imagining an idealized shape as a representation of coastal features, including those associated with anthropogenic activities such as coastal urban areas. The ideogram was thus constructed as a symbol of conceptualized cross-sectional views of different types of archimorphs (Figure 1).
Annotated Profile: Creation of a Summary Annotated Profile Visualization Tool
The bulk of the methodological procedures concentrated on the construction of annotated profiles comprising archimorphs and ideograms. By condensing a wide range of data in a single diagram, it was possible to display some salient characteristics of a coastal belt in one illustration. In this way, the elevational data points could be shown graphically along with the tabular data and referenced to a thumbnail satellite image (greatly reduced scene) showing the approximate location of the cross-shore transect. Components of polymorphic cross-shore sequences were identified at relatively large and small scales, diagrammatically showing the archimorphic progression and an inset showing the conceptual shape of ideograms. The BCCS code was additionally supplied for archetypes comprising polymorphs (i.e. multiple archimorphs). An inset diagram showing the archimorphic sequence was provided for easy reference and simplification of the archimorphs composing the cross-shore transect. The annotated profiles also included information related to the geographically associated Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) and terrestrial Ecoregion (ER) as a means of placing the example in an environmental context, as described by Finkl and Makowski (2020d) for the Coastal Belt Linked Classification (CBLC).
Using this methodology, it was possible to provide seven examples of archimorphs and ideograms in annotated profiles for a sand cay, sea cliff, sand/mud flat, beach ridge strandplain, and barrier islands in different latitudinal zones. The results of this methodological approach, which produced actual (archimorphic) and theoretical (ideogramic) morphologies, are described in the “Results” section of this study.
Conceptualization of sequential cross-shore eco-geomorphological units in topographic profile resulted in the recognition of archimorphs and ideograms, both of which can be shown in diagrammatic form as topographic line drawing side views of archetypes and archetypical sequences (catenas). Amalgamation of numerous iterations of the same types of archimorphs resulted in the creation of collages that could be combined into idealized or hypothetical topographic traces that conceptually represented archimorphs that were derived from archetypes. Examples of these idealized topographic shapes known as ideograms are summarized in Figure 1. The 18 examples shown in Figure 1 conceptually represent the eco-geomorphological archetypes that are named in Table 1. Depending on the scale of observation, all of the ideograms can be broken down into component parts. Although this is not a prerequisite, it is perhaps useful to demonstrate how the component parts were assembled in the development of ideograms. One of the results of conceptualizing the ideograms was the recognition of complex forms built up from component parts to form a coherent whole image. The formative units of ideograms are not necessary to comprehend the intent of the idealized overall form that is displayed as a topographic line drawing. The resulting idealized line drawing, the ideogram itself, represents concision of complex components into the most simplified depiction possible. Examples of the mentation process are provided for graphic representations of sand cay, barrier island, and delta ideograms that are broken down into polymorphic sequences.
The creation of an annotated profile marks the end result of conceptualizations of sequential cross-shore eco-geomorphological units in topographic profile based on constructs of archimorphs and ideograms. Collation of wide-ranging data into one diagram is the summary result of creating and displaying archimorphs and ideograms. The resulting multipurpose annotated profile brings together in one illustration end products (i.e. raw elevational data, LME and ER designations, BCCS codes, satellite image, archimorphic sequences, polymorphs, and ideograms) that are related to the development of a comprehensive view of a transectal cross-shore classificatory endeavor. The annotated profiles are broken into two groups of examples with the first comprising cay, cliff, flat, and strandplain archimorphs and the second group collecting examples of barrier islands in equatorial, tropical, and polar latitudes.
Conceptualizations of archimorphs take the form of ideograms that are idealized perceptions of cross-shore topographic traces. These idealized side-view morphologies are a summary hypostatization of real coastal features in a cartoonish-rendered form or as a kind of maquette. Examples of these idealized forms are provided here for conceptualized sand cays, barrier islands, and deltas. Annotated profiles are collages that gather diverse types of information into a single illustration, as described in the following paragraphs, that include archimorphs and ideograms. The breakdown of ideograms into more detailed units is provided as interpretive assistance for better comprehension of components that comprise the thick, black line in each diagram that represents a specified idiographic or idiogrammic shape (Figure 1).
Conceptualized Sand Cay Ideogram
Although a cay is nominally defined as a sandy island on the surface of a coral reef, the archimorph occurs in association with beach and coral reef subarchetypes (Figure 2). In still more detailed views, the subarchetypes themselves can be further subdivided into their own polymorphic sequences. However, for practical purposes, the point is to conceptualize polymorphic sequences into the ideogram that is an idealized topographic trace of sand accumulated above sea level on a coral reef platform. Generalization allows cognizance of details and minutia. As shown in Figure 2, the BCCS code CrfrFsa-BecaUfoBecaFsaCrfr is graphically broken down into component parts where coral reef and flat subarchetypes (CrfrFsa), shown in archimorphic form, are identified in the boxes outlined in green that flank the forested upland archimorph. This BCCS heptamorphic catenary sequence for a sand cay is graphically displayed as a polymorphic ideogram. Under natural conditions, narrow beach archetypes are associated with sand cays, but their small size precludes easy identification at the scale of archimorph depiction in the ideogram. Recognition of their presence is noted by an annotated red arrow in the diagram as being conceptually a part of the ideogram. The blue horizontal line represents a hypothetical sea level to which all ideograms are referred.
Conceptualized Barrier Island Ideogram
A potential example subdivision of the barrier island ideogram is shown in Figure 3, where the ideational structure of the concept is broken down in component parts. A barrier island is a complex sequence of eco-geomorphological units that are interpreted in the BCCS as archetype and subarchetype catenary associations. In terms of the barrier island ideogram, component parts in the form of archimorphs are depicted in Figure 3, which shows common cross-shore sequences in reference to a beach-dune polymorph and wetland-lagoon polymorph. Ideologically, the topographic trace represents the concept of a barrier island and does not require subdivision, which is provided here only for explanatory purposes. The topographic trace, however, shows compartmentalized polymorphic views of the barrier island ideogram and how it was constructed. Knowledge and understanding of the polymorphs, along with their respective archimorphs, were used to construct the ideogram with the component parts mentally retained.
Views of the barrier island ideogram do not require enunciation of component archimorphs or polymorphic sequences because the line drawing is meant to convey the concept of integrated components that conform to common definitional understanding of what a barrier island is. That is, the ideogram results from a mental condensation of perceived linkages between concepts of subarchetypes and archimorphs. The mentation of the barrier island ideogram results from perceptional interpretations of eco-geomorphological building blocks in the broadest sense and as a facet of polygenetic recapitulation. The ideogram is thus taken in the final instance as a graphic representation of a polymorphic sequence of a complex cross-shore setup.
For explanatory purposes, the barrier island ideogram is compartmentalized by two boxes that are outlined in green to highlight the coastal marine polymorph sequence (linked beach and dune archimorph segments) and the wetland-lagoon polymorph. The BCCS code Beca,siDumoWmrLopWmr thus comprises two integral parts, one coastal-marine (Beca,siDumo) and the other terrestrial (WmrLopWmr), that are combined into one thick curvilinear-shaped black line that constitutes the barrier island ideogram. The ideogram, as shown here and in Figure 1, is used as a symbol of this common coastal eco-geomorphological setup knowing that it is a mental construct of a complicated cross-shore sequence. There are, of course, possible endless variations of the barrier island ideogram, and the shape posited here is used as a suggestion or possibility for ideogrammic shape cognition.
Conceptualized Delta Ideogram
In a similar conceptual vein, Figure 4 elucidates the subdivision of a delta ideogram into polymorphic sequences. Although comprising cross-shore sequences of multiple archimorphs, the resulting ideogram is meant to idealize the topographic trace of component subarchetypes, displayed as archimorphs, that impart the concept of a delta. Although the ideogram is spatially constrained and because deltas may comprise a large array of subarchetypes, the sequence of archimorphs diagrammatically shown in Figure 4 is meant to convey a mentated concept of a delta in the form of an ideogram. The mentation process identifies the delta symbol as a representation of deltas in general without the need to cavil over exceptions as distractions from the conceptual identification.
River deltas are complex alluvial features that vary in planview shape depending on many variables to produce simplified forms that are often referred to as arcuate, cuspate, bird-foot, or inverted. The morphological complexity of deltas is scale dependent, and the hypothetical ideogram shown in Figure 4 is conceptualized on mesoscale (e.g., on the order of 5× 100 to 10 × 102 km) hypothecations for simplicity and catholic application. Explanation of the hypothetical componential derivation of the ideogram used here is indicated by the bifurcation shown in Figure 4 for the coastal marine beach subarchetype (DeBeca,si) that grades seaward to the submarine prodelta facet and the terrestrial polymorphic sequence Wma,mr,swChWma,mr,sw indicated in the box outlined in purple. The wetland-channel polymorph, broken down into boxes outlined in green, is depicted by the thick, black line of the ideogram. The mentated shape of the thick, black line is thus meant to symbolize a river delta with full knowledge of component complexities that cannot be stylized at this representative scale.
The summary results of this research are presented in annotated profiles to combine as much information as possible that depicts the gross nature of a selected coastal belt. These illustrations show how archimorphs and ideograms were derived from real data and then ideologically displayed along with other ancillary information in verbal, tabular, and alphanumeric form, as in the case of BCCS codifications. Polymorphic examples are provided for sand cays (Figure 5), sea cliffs (Figure 6), sand/mud flats (Figure 7), and strandplains (Figure 8) along with depictions of barrier island polymorphic sequences in different latitudes (equatorial, tropical, and Arctic) (Figures 9, 10, and 11).
Each annotated-profile diagram is provided in a different color scheme to emphasize possibilities of graphic display. The flexible graphic layouts depend on the morphology (cross-shore elevational trace) of the archimorph and its associated ideogram. The location of diagrammatic components (e.g., BCCS code, elevation table, satellite thumbnail image, archimorphic sequence, ideogram, LME, ER) largely depends on the shape of the cross-shore elevational trace that includes data point locations.
Sand Cay Polymorph (Great Barrier Reef Exemplar)
This example of a vegetated sand cay is from Milman Islet on a part of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia (Figure 5). This annotated profile contains elevational data points that are indicated by blue dots on the topographic trace that extends for about 500 m across the islet. The elevation profile, which is shown in relation to sea level (red vertical arrow), is annotated in terms of component BCCS subarchetypes that together compose a polymorphic sequence that is numbered as follows: (1) fringing reef and flat (CrfrFsa), (2) carbonate beach (Beca), and (3) a forested upland (Ufo) comprising a carbonate sand dune (about 15 m elevation). Because the transect crosses the islet, the BCCS code repeats landward from both coasts, culminating in the center of the forested upland subarchetype. The cross-section shown in the thumbnail satellite image illustrates the sequence of subarchetypes in planview that have been drawn in a transformative cross-sectional view as a topographic trace line drawing, referred to as an archimorph, which in turn has been idealized into a stylized symbol that conceptually represents the sand cay in an ideogram.
The BCCS codification for this cross-shore polymorphic sequence is provided as a single line code (1Cr,frFsaBecaUfo-BecaFsaCrfr) with various components segregated and strategically placed in appropriate positions along the archimorph for identification purposes to show the sequencing of subarchetypes across the islet (Figure 5). Actual elevation points are indicated as blue dots on the elevation trace and also in tabular form. Components of the archimorphic sequence are indicated in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram (Figure 5). The sand cay ideogram is indicated as a subset in the top center of the diagram. Additional information is verbalized in appropriate parts of the diagram, as in the case of LME and ER designations (upper left-hand corner).
Sea Cliff Polymorph (SW Western Australia Exemplar)
This example of an annotated profile features an archimorph and ideogram derived from a sea cliff polymorph. The archimorph was constructed from a sea cliff at Pt. d'Entrecasteaux on the SW coast of Western Australia (Figure 6). Elevations for this simplistic example are noted by black dots on the topographic line trace that extends across the shore for about 300 m, the approximate location of which is provided in the satellite thumbnail image for the transect A to B. The elevation profile extends from sea level to the summit of the adjacent plateau or upland at about 55 m.
This archimorph basically comprises three subarchetypes, as noted in the BCCS code 7RtsCligUeb,sr where talus and scree subarchetypes (Rts) are located on the igneous rock cliff face (Clig) and exposed bedrock and scrub vegetation are located on the upland (Ueb,sr). The archimorphic sequence is displayed graphically in the upper left-hand corner of the diagram and also noted in the main topographic trace. Upper and lower rubble slopes are identified along with the false crest as ancillary geomorphological information, which helps to define the shape and composition of the sea cliff environment. The result of compiling examples similar to this permitted recognition of the archimorphic sequence and conceptualization of an idealized symbol for sea cliffs in the ideogram provided (upper right-hand corner). As in all of the examples here, the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) and terrestrial Ecoregion (ER) are indicated for geographical perspective.
Sand/Mud Flat Polymorph (Bay of Bengal Exemplar)
This annotated profile contains an example of an archimorph and ideogram that is derived from a mud flat polymorph at Hukitala, State of Odisha, India, Bay of Bengal Coast (Figure 7). The geographic position of the topographic transect is approximated in the satellite thumbnail image from start and stop points at A and B (upper right-hand corner) moving from left to right. The main topographic trace shows a sand/mud flat with shallow tidal channels. This low-relief flat archetype is technically situated between two barrier islands but because of the extreme low elevation of the mangrove swamp at location B, where tree height barely reaches 2 m above sea level, the eco-geomorphological setup is simply designated as a wetland marsh subarchetype that identifies its main character (Babi)Wma,mr, with the barrier island codification in parentheses to indicate that it is subsidiary or secondary in nature relative to the flat ideogram per se. The complete BCCS code 2(Babi)Wma,mrFsa,muWma,mr(Babi) in relation to the hypothesized flat ideogram ignores the barrier island archetype because it is not relevant to the flat archimorph, which could be concised to Wma,mrFsa,muWma,mr (sand/mud flat flanked by mangrove and marsh wetlands).
The elevation trace shown as a blue line with dots for measurement points on the satellite image is broken down graphically into an archimorphic sequence, shown by the thick, black line on the left side of the diagram (Figure 7). This reduced-in-size trace is reproduced to show a stylized representation of the flat subarchetypes at Hukitala. The concept shown here is characteristic of flat archetypes, of which there are innumerable geomorphological variations, where the archimorphic sequence is used as a stepping-stone to the idealized symbol for flat ideogram (top center of diagram).
The flat ideogram is keyed to sea level, and the thick, black line symbolically shows submarine and terrestrial portions of flats, the proportions of which depend on tidal ranges. The component subarchetypes, without identification, composing the polymorph are amalgamated into the simplistic ideogram for flats as a single curvilinear line shape. The archimorphic sequences in this diagram show the theoretical stepwise derivation of the flat ideogram (Figure 7). The LME and ER data are provided to place this flat ideogram in an environmental perspective where Godavari-Krishna mangroves dominate the Bay of Bengal shoreline. Other possible flat archimorphic sequences no doubt occur elsewhere, but this example is used as a template for signaling the hypothetical flat ideogram.
Strandplain Polymorph (Gulf of Venezuela Exemplar)
This annotated profile provides an example of an archimorph and ideogram that is derived from a coastal belt on the Gulf of Venezuela near Caracubana, Falcón State, Venezuela (Figure 8). Elevation data points on the topographic trace are indicated by red dots. The topographic trace shows variable dune and swale topography along the cross-shore transect from A to B on an elevationally inclined coastal plain where the dune height reaches about 14 m above sea level near endpoint B. Elevation data are provided in tabular form on the right side of the diagram along with the satellite thumbnail image. The approximate position of the cross-shore transect on the satellite image is indicated by the red line where numbers indicate the following archimorphs along with their BCCS codes (cf. main cross-shore elevation trace): (1) beach (Beca), (2) beach ridge plain (Brsp), and (3) upland (Usr). The respective codes identify subarchetypes for carbonate beach, beach ridge strandplain, and scrub vegetation upland, as per Table 1. This archimorphic sequence, which is keyed to sea level, is indicated in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram.
The topographic trace is transfigured into the conceptualized strandplain ideogram in the upper left-hand corner of the diagram. This conceptualized form is meant to signal the presence of a beach ridge plain on a satellite image or map. The BCCS code 2BecaBrspUsr identifies a curved coastal segment in planview that is characterized by a beach ridge plain with a narrow beach and extensive scrub upland. The eco-geomorphological setup includes the La Costa Xeric Shrublands Ecoregion (ER603) facing the Caribbean Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (LME12).
Equatorial Barrier Island Polymorph (Colombian Caribbean Sea Exemplar)
This annotated profile provides an example of an equatorial barrier island archimorph and ideogram that is derived from a coastal belt on the Caribbean coast of Columbia near Rincon del Mar, Sucre Department (Figure 9). The topographic trace with elevational data points marked by blue dots shows the low elevation of the barrier island (about 3 m) that is backed landward by a shallow lagoon that is only a few meters deep. The slightly more elevated mainland reaches an elevation of about 6 m and is characterized by a mangrove wetland.
Subdivision of this equatorial barrier island polymorph is shown by numbers along the topographic trace and explicitly identified in the cross-shore archimorphic sequence on the upper left-hand side of the diagram. The mentated barrier island ideogram is shown in the top center of the diagram where the idealized cross-sectional shape of barrier island is indicated by the hypothetical thick black line. Composition of this polymorph is denoted in the BCCS code 2BabiBecaLopWma, where the curved barrier island (Babi) is fronted seaward by a carbonate beach (Beca) and backed landward by an open lagoon (Lop), connected to the Caribbean Sea, which merges landward into a mangrove wetland (Wma). This archimorphic sequence is elucidated by numerals that identify component parts of the cross-shore sequence. Information regarding the eco-geomorphological context of this location on the Colombian Caribbean coast is provided by reference to the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME12: Caribbean Sea) and the terrestrial Ecoregion (ER611: Amazon-Orinoco Southern Caribbean Mangroves) data.
Tropical Barrier Island Polymorph (Mexican Gulf of Mexico Exemplar)
This annotated profile provides an example of a tropical barrier island archimorph and ideogram that is derived from a coastal belt on the Gulf of Mexico near Le Yegua, State of Temaulipas, Mexico (Figure 10). This tropical barrier island polymorph retains similar cross-shore eco-morphological features to those identified in Figure 9 for an equatorial coast with similar dimensions for the barrier island (Babi) per se (1 km vs. 925 m) and lagoon (Lop) (3.5 km vs. 3.6 km). The cross-shore elevational trace (blue line) shows data points in red-colored squares. The tropical barrier island at Le Yegua contains accommodation space for seaward beach (Beca,si) and dune (Dubo) subarchetypes that are shown here in cross section as archimorphs. Wetland marshes (Wmr) occur on the back side of the barrier island and on the mainland reaching an elevation of about 4 or 5 m. By comparison, the Arctic barrier island setup (Figure 11) is more topographically subdued with tidal flats.
The cross-shore archetypical heptasequent (BaBeDuWLBeW) catena is reflected in the BCCS code in the bottom left-hand corner of the diagram (Figure 10). The cross-shore topographic trace, with red-colored squares marking elevational data points, is referenced to sea level and the profile annotated verbally and numerically leading to the diagrammatic archimorphic sequence shown in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram. The same barrier island ideogram is provided as that in Figure 9 because the hypothetical line drawing is meant to be universal. Figures 9 and 10 show locational variation, but the concept of a barrier island ideogram is the same even though the BCCS code 7Babi-Beca,siDuboWmrLopBeca,siWmr is more complex. Contextual eco-geomorphological information is provided by the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME5: Gulf of Mexico) and the terrestrial Ecoregion (ER514: Veracruz Moist Forests) designations in the upper left-hand corner of the diagram.
Polar Barrier Island Polymorph (Alaskan Bering Sea Exemplar)
This annotated profile provides an example of an arctic barrier island archimorph and ideogram that is derived from a coastal belt in the Etolin Strait of the East Bering Sea near Pingurbek Island, Alaska, U.S.A. (Figure 11). The topographic trace with elevational data points marked by blue dots shows the low elevation of the barrier island (about a meter or so) that is backed landward by a tidal lagoon that merges landward across tidal flats to a low-elevation (about 3 or 4 m high) tundra landscape with wetland marshes. The widths of the barrier island and lagoon subarchetypes show a similitude to the eco-geomorphological setup in Figure 10, but the height of the barrier island is more subdued than examples in Figures 9 and 10. The satellite thumbnail image (lower right-hand corner) shows the cross-shore transect with numerals that correspond to the main topographic trace and archimorphic sequence (upper center of diagram). The numerals correspond to the BCCS polymorphic sequence as follows: (1) BabiBesi, (2) Lop, (3) Fmu, and (4) Wmr to compose the complete code 7BabiBesiLopFmuWmr.
This straight (in planview, cf. Table 1) barrier island is fronted seaward by a silica beach and backed landward by an open tidal lagoon that grades to a mud flat that lies lagoonward of the marsh wetland subarchetypes of the tundra landscape. The same barrier island ideogram is used to signal the presence of a barrier island setup, as identified in Figures 9 and 10. The eco-geomorphological context of this example refers to LME1: East Bering Sea and ER409: Beringia Lowland Tundra.
The goal of this paper was to introduce and apply the concepts of archimorphs and ideograms for the purpose of coastal belt classification using the BCCS (Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System). An archimorph is a side view of an archetype presented in the form of a topographic line trace based on real elevational data points. This top line of a profile section represents the intersection of a vertical plane with the surface of the ground. Ideograms are derived from archimorphs and are presented in the form of idealized line figures that conceptually represent types of archimorphs. The hypothetical ideograms are meant to signal in artistic format the general form of an archimorph in a side view. The value of this typology is that ideograms can be used to stylistically represent the presence of archetypes alongshore. Their presentation as a glyph or sigil would thus most likely be associated with the preparation of maps or annotated satellite images showing coastal belts that can be differentiated into various types of eco-geomorphological units based on the BCCS.
Fortunately, the range of ideograms in the universe of coastal belts is finite because cross-shore archetypical sequences repeat the world over (Finkl and Makowski, 2020a, 2021d, 2022d). The limited scope of archetypes precludes the possibility of having to access recondite literature and types of arcane symbolization. Some examples of possible types of ideograms were presented in Figure 1, and further development of the conceptualization is encouraged. These ideograms are amenable to myriametric scales of observation as the simplistic line drawings are easily scalable.
Considering that this is a first attempt to construct ideograms that are cartographically appropriate and usable, they no doubt can be improved or possibly stylized in different manners. In any case, the ideograms shown in Figure 1 are but exemplars of possibilities and should be regarded as initializations and not exigencies that require immediate attention in the development of coastal cross-shore classifications. Archimorphs and ideograms are thus considered adjuncts to the BCCS.
Partial explanations of ideograms are provided in Figures 2–4, where polymorphic sequences are elucidated in a graphic format that shows component parts (eco-geomorphological units in the form of archetypes and subarchetypes) of the sand cay, barrier island, and delta ideograms. These figures show compartmentalization and differentiation of components that are traditionally subsumed under the concept of coastal eco-geomorphological setups. It is assumed that observance of ideograms includes mental constructs of component parts that compose the idealized form. The purpose of an ideogram is to thus encourage recognition via mentation of component parts of the idealized form depicted as a simple line drawing.
The example of the sand cay ideogram is perhaps one of the more elementary possibilities, at least in comparison with the barrier island and delta ideograms that require greater sensibility to the presence of multiple eco-geomorphological components that compose definitional conceptions of the archetypes. A simplistic subdivision of the barrier island ideogram shown in Figure 3 highlights the polymorphic sequences of archetypes that compose traditional concepts of what create a typical barrier island coast. In a similar manner, archetypical polymorphic sequences associated with mesoscale deltas are identified in Figure 4 as a potential breakdown of the eco-geomorphological units that are commonly associated with conceptions of delta archetypes. Observance of the delta ideogram is thus meant to include subconscious recognition of smaller component parts. Clearly, some precognition of coastal forms is required to make sense of the ideogramic presentations. The breakdown in these three examples is meant to serve as a mnemonic device for comprehending and recalling the component forms depicted by the stylized line drawing that comprises the ideogram.
The annotated profiles in Figures 5–11 are presented as examples of the process used to develop the evolutionary sequence from acquisition of elevational data for the construction of an archimorph to depictions of cross-shore archimorphic sequences that are subsumed by the stylized ideogram. Contextual geographical information, as well as the BCCS alphanumerical codes, are provided to illustrate possibilities of relating archetypes, archimorphs, and ideograms as part of explanations for particular coastal setups. This kind of background information, which is presented in association with a cross-shore transect overlaid on a satellite image, provides useful information for a study site as well as substantiating the ideogram. The annotated profiles are thus provided as examples of possible explanatory tools that can be used as summary depictions of coastal setups. Comparison of Figures 2 and 5, for example, show different layers of detail that can be used to explain side views of actual (archimorph) and theoretical (ideogram) depictions of a typical sand cay along with a planview using a satellite image. A similar process is associated with comparison of polymorphic sequences in Figure 3 with those in Figures 9–11. Other examples showing the development of archimorphs and ideograms are provided for sea cliff, flat, and strandplain polymorphs in Figures 6, 7, and 8, respectively. It should be noted in Figure 7, however, that flat archetypes terminate in a variety of situations that might include barrier islands, as in this example or possibly in cliffs or uplands. Many possibilities exist for situational variation associated with the flat archetype.
The same barrier island ideogram is used as an exemplar in different latitudinal locations, as shown in Figures 9, 10, and 11, for equatorial, tropical, and polar latitudes, respectively. These annotated profiles summarize the same kinds of ancillary simulacrum information included in previous figures. The intent here was to show morphological similitude of archetypes, archimorphs, and ideograms that compose polymorphs in different geographical zones. For illustrative purposes, the ideogram in each figure is shown in compressed (Figure 9), elongated (Figure 10), and extended (Figure 11) form to emphasize the flexibility of the ideographic shape that can be used to convey the concept of a barrier island.
The applicability of simulacrums, archimorphs, and ideograms is geared to the elucidation of coastal belts that have been classified according to concepts and principles of the BCCS. Displayed and explained in annotated profiles, the side view of archetypes brings to the discussion an additional perspective that compliments a planview of satellite images. The development of annotated profiles was undertaken to succinctly summarize the character or nature of a coastal belt in a manner that presents as much information as possible in an instant glace. It is envisaged that this kind of graphic would be useful for displaying a wide range of data that is associated with archetypical eco-geomorphological environments where recognition of archimorphic and ideogramic situations occur in relation to Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) and terrestrial Ecoregions (ER). The inclusion of a satellite thumbnail image and BCCS code complements perception of the coastal ecological environment by amalgamating mental images of side views (topographic profile) with planviews to inculcate culminated impressions. These kinds of instant views of summary information not only expand visual perceptions of codified coastal belts but also provide a basis for applying the archimorph and ideogram concepts to mapping coastal belts. The ideogram is probably more flexible for cartographic purposes (i.e. display on a map or satellite image) than the archimorph, which is amenable to profile depiction of cross-shore polymorphic sequences. The use of archimorphs and ideograms is thus systematically applicable, without loss of explicit meaning.
The concepts and methods reported here are in gestation without consideration of finality because the BCCS is an open system that provides great flexibility for coastal classification in oblique or planview, whereas these adjunctive side view conceptualizations (i.e. archimorphs and ideograms) are thus also amenable to rectification and improvement. Other coastal researchers are invited to expand or modify these suggestions with a view toward improving the kernel that has been presented here.
This investigation showed that experimental development of possible presentation modes of coastal archetypes in side view could be used to amalgamate morphological similitudes in an assimilable manner where simple conceptualized line drawings (ideograms) represent complex shapes or forms. The recognition of archetypes in cross-shore side view provides an additional pathway for perceiving the BCCS (Biophysical Cross-Shore Classification System) as an applicable means of coastal classification where environmental considerations lead the way to comprehension of coastal belts based on eco-geomorphological units. As shown in this study, perceptions of archetypes in planview from satellite images can be melded with multidimensional typologies to produce archimorphs that are based on actual (real) cross-shore transectal elevational data that show topographic traces. Collation and amalgamation of topographic traces can be used to estimate idealized (mentated or ideated) essential shapes that are representative of characteristic cross-shore profiles that can be depicted as ideograms, which are meant to convey a specific meaning through symbolization without using any words, as opposed to logograms that represent a word or phrase. The ideography introduced here is coupled with annotated profiles that bring together salient features of the BCCS (e.g., codification and code sequences, polymorphic catenas, satellite imagery, elevational data, LME and ER designations) in support of archimorphic and ideogramic depictions to provide an instantaneous view of coastal belt eco-geomorphological systems. It is envisaged that ideograms can be used as a cartographic method to signal types of cross-shore topographic profiles that are keyed to archetypes via archimorphs. This research suggests that archimorphs, ideograms, and annotated profiles can be used as adjunctive additions that facilitate prefiguration of coastal cross-shore classification based on the BCCS, which describes salient eco-geomorphological characteristics of coastal belts throughout the world.